In Conversation: Nemonte Nenquimo & Vanessa Kirby on our climate crisis - Amazon Frontlines

by Amazon Frontlines

/ October 2022

Tackling a challenge as big as climate change takes solidarity and action between people across the world. That’s why when two extraordinary women activists first met – Nemonte Nenquimo, Waorani leader and Amazon Frontlines co-founder, and Vanessa Kirby, actress and Amazon Frontlines ambassador, they immediately recognized the enormous potential of their partnership to grow the movement in support of Indigenous peoples fighting to stop the destruction of the Amazon, our world’s largest rainforest and a critical ecosystem for a healthy planet.

In the first of many actions that Nemonte and Vanessa have been dreaming up, we are thrilled to present their discussion on Indigenous-led solutions to the climate crisis, streamed as part of an Instagram live event organized by Amazon Frontlines last week.

In this talk, Nemonte shares stories from the frontlines of the battle to protect the Amazon rainforest from destructive extractive industries – and how she led her people to win a historic victory against the Ecuadorian government, protecting half a million acres of pristine rainforest from oil drilling while setting an invaluable precedent to protect millions of acres more. Together, Vanessa and Nemonte share reflections about our interconnectedness as a planet and how we can best support the ancestral guardians of the most biodiverse places on earth.

The science is clear: time is running out to avoid a climate catastrophe. The evidence is also clear: Indigenous peoples hold the solutions and wisdom needed to solve our climate crisis. But as Nemonte says, “We can’t do this alone. I would like the world to take action in this struggle. Don’t expect Indigenous peoples to do this on our own. We need everyone to join with us to protect the Amazon. If we all unite, we can change the future for the next generations”.

That’s where people power comes in. It’s going to take a global movement to provide the backing that Indigenous peoples need to succeed in protecting life-sustaining ecosystems against billion-dollar industries, governments, and financial institutions that are hell-bent on profit over life. It’s going to take the support of allies with major platforms, like Vanessa Kirby, to catalyze global solidarity across continents. And it’s going to take each and every one of us to do our part, no matter how big or small, to turn the tide on the climate crisis. Only by banding together between peoples from all walks of life, can we put into practice “respect for Mother Earth”, as Nemonte says, which is the starting point for solving our planetary crisis.

And stay tuned: we have an exciting live event in the Amazon rainforest just around the corner!

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